I have two beautiful boys and I have been lucky enough to celebrate many of their milestones – christenings, first birthdays, 5th birthday parties and everything else in between.
Admittedly, one of the most stressful parties can be the first birthday party. As mums, we put so much stress on ourselves to be perfect – we do anything for our little ones and want to give them the very best we can. First birthdays are notorious for being exceptionally stressful as our need to be ‘perfect’ increases 10 fold!
And it goes without saying that on that one special day we want our babies to be well behaved, stick to their routine (after all, the whole day is planned around their routine) and have that much needed sleep – they don’t.
That said, here are some of my tips for celebrating your baby’s first birthday without wanting to have a meltdown in the hope the magic birthday fairies will fix everything!
They say it takes a village to raise a child. Well, that’s equally true for a first birthday party! Don’t be afraid to ask your family and friends for help – especially when they offer. For my son’s first birthday I had just returned to work, was building a new home and was living in a tiny little ‘shack’ with no space for people let alone a kitchen to feed an army of people! I learned to delegate and reach out to my family for help. My close family brought a plate of food with them and I bought some food myself – nothing flash just a local catering company. Once everyone arrived there was enough food (and drink) for everyone! deliciously yours made the cake and all the sweet stuff of course! It was really hard for me to ask for help – it’s not something that comes naturally to me as I am not wired that way but I felt so relieved that I had a teeny bit of help.
As mums we strive for that ‘perfect’ party or that ‘perfect’ day. When dealing with our little angels, it is a rare earth shattering moment if our plans run ‘perfectly’. For me, I have learned to ‘let go’ and not sweat the small stuff. I remember for my son’s christening day, he was only 3 months old, and managed to throw up on my dress just before we left for the church. He also cried through the service! His cakes didn’t turn out how I envisaged in my head and it all felt ‘non-perfect’. If I am going to ‘let go’ and be realistic, it was a great day surrounded by my family who doted on my little one. The older kids played together and we all shared a meal. And his cake tasted amazing! What’s not perfect about that? Don’t sweat those little things. It’s hard to do in the moment but it feels great when you do!
Toys are golden!
Toys can make the difference between crazy bored kids and quietly entertained ones. For my son’s christening I set up a designated play area for the older kids. It kept them entertained but also kept them out of the main part of the house. I set up a little table with books, pencils and colouring sheets, lego and puzzles. I ran a little colouring in competition too!
Take a look around
You managed to make it to the party day but you are probably still decorating, fixing your hair and make up, taking care of guests and your little one! In the middle of the mayhem try to take a moment to stop and look around. Your family and friends are there. They are having a great time and there is lots of love in the room. It’s a beautiful feeling so don’t let it pass you by. Your baby only turns 1 once. It’s a big deal for your little one but also a massive deal for you! Enjoy the emotional rollercoaster ride and try not to be so hard on yourself.
Image of pink and yellow cake and matching invitation taken by Captured by Kiri for a collaboration with Confetti Fair magazine.